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Packaging Life

Packaging Life
Cultures of the Everyday

First Edition

September 2009 | 248 pages | SAGE India
Packaging Life: Cultures of the Everyday is a study of the cultural politics of four aspects of everyday life - health, comfort, risk and mobility - as manifest in public culture. The book explores the commodification of these aspects, arguing that our experience and perception are mediated by discourses circulating in the mass media.

The author explores how notions of 'good' health, 'cosmopolitan' identities, and 'luxurious' lifestyles are constructed, arguing that such constructions, or what this book calls 'packaging', encourage us to buy particular commodities, adopt certain lifestyles, assimilate specific political beliefs and develop significant anxieties. Discourses, he suggests, morph into consumer practices, where particular kinds of bodies, objects, and practices are established as the norm-safe, stylish and cosmopolitan-so that they appear natural, legitimate and desirable and lead us, consumers, to buy, practice, believe in and adopt them. He also analyzes or tries to 'unpack' this underlying discourse within images, rhetoric, narratives and representations so that we understand the politics behind them.

'Unpacking' cultural politics, this book demonstrates, is the disentangling of the insidious regulatory frames of representation so that we generate dissident reading practices for public culture. The book is an essential reading for those who want to understand modern urban cultural rhetorics. Scholars and practitioners working in the fields of media and communication, consumer behaviour studies and cultural studies will find it highly engaging as well as provocative.

Introduction : Packaging Life
Life, the Low-calorie Edition: Cultures of Health
Life, the Deluxe Edition: Cultures of Comfort
Life, the Bubble-wrapped Edition: Cultures of Risk
Life, the High-speed Edition: Cultures of Mobility
Conclusion : Unpacking

Packaging life examines how some aspects of everyday, urban life in India – such as good health, cosmopolitan identities and luxurious lifestyles – are constructed and packaged for urban, middle-class consumers…[The book] will be of great interest to students of consumption studies and consumer culture, media studies, celebrity studies, popular culture, and cultural studies, and Asian studies

Contributions to Indian Sociology

This is an extremely useful book to students of media studies/media professionals and serves as an eye opener to other professionals as well, particularly those in medical and beauty business.


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Pramod K Nayar

Pramod K Nayar teaches at the Department of English, University of Hyderabad, India. His work in postcolonial studies includes English Writing and India, 1600–1920:Colonizing Aesthetics (2008), Postcolonial Literature: An Introduction (2008), The Great Uprising: India, 1857 (2007), The Trial of Bahadur Shah Zafar (2007) and The Penguin 1857 Reader (2007). His interests in cultural studies include superheroes, consumer culture, ‘cool’, posthumanism and new media cultures, and his work here includes An Introduction to Cultural Studies (2008), Reading Culture: Theory, Praxis, Politics (2006), Virtual Worlds: Culture and Politics in the Age of... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789353280963

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